20 December 2014

Birthday Wishes

I took this picture of my room with the bouquet my mom surprised me with at work before my birthday. I love it so much because it is such an original arrangement. I had to leave the bouquet to fade away on my dresser :( but there are more exciting things ahead! :) 

If I had one birthday wish left, it would be that we are already at my sister's house. It's been one loooonngg day :P

- MarLeahJoy

18 December 2014

Almost Time

I can't believe that tomorrow marks the last day of work... for a week! :)
I also can't believe that me -- the last of all people on the totem pole -- got the whole week of Christmas off! I'm normally not excited about packing my clothes and getting everything ready for a trip, but I am so ready for this trip to West Virginia to see my sister's new house, to have Christmas as a family, and to Ski! So eager that I laid all my clothes out, and even tried on my whole skiing outfit. 

Speaking of eager... Tuesday was my birthday and I couldn't have been more happy to have a birthday! lol It normally doesn't excite me very much to simply turn a year older, but this year... I was hyper days before Lol! My dearest friend and cousin, Heather, sent me this for my birthday. It is a little globe from Target (right Heather?) that I have almost bought for myself at least two times before.

If you are Katelyn or Karissa and you are reading this... you should stop now. Or you may as well open your present now. Hehe ;P 
I love just a little bit of giving here and there! It's just so right! It's not about what you get, neither is it about what you spend... it's only about the attitude of your heart! <3

I hope to see you all soon!
And I severely hope it is with a video from my GoPro with some fun skiing stuff.
Crossing my fingers that all my ideas work out!! :)


25 November 2014

Thankful Much

Sometimes I find myself being thankful about the most off-the-wall things.
This morning -- not so much -- it was a pretty normal thing I was thankful for. Just hot water. You know that feeling that takes your heartbeat away when the water in the shower isn't quite up to temp. yet? Well, it only lasted a few short minutes, long enough to make me thankful for the hot water we have. I normally don't think about stuff like that, but it must have set me off in the thankful mood or something. And tonight I relized that thanksgiving is only a few short days away -- how fitting. Since I never participate in the "rage" of those thankful posts for the month of November, I might as well get my thankful thoughts out all at once, while I'm on a roll. ;)

So this is when my thanksgivings shift a little more to different things - you know, to all the complicated things in my life that God has blessed me with, but I don't even understand them, I can't fathom them yet. 

At work, I've been learning to be more of the type of person that people don't forget. Not in a selfish or vain way... But I only say that because there have been complete strangers in my life that I will never forget simply because they made me feel special. Anyway, that's one of my biggest goals right now... And today I found myself feeling thankful for learning another little lesson on how to brighten someone's day. It was actually waiting in the drive through after the person taking my order really misunderstood me. I didn't really care so I pulled up to the window anyway. The thing was, I waited forever for the most piddling little thing. Finally I turned my car off because I was waisting gas. I knew that it would have probably indicated to those inside that I was tired of waiting and if it was going to camping out her for another half hour, I might as well turn off my car. Yeah, so I was slightly irritated that it was taking ten minutes in a fast food drive through for one simple thing but I really wasn't that upset. When they gave me my food and apologized for the wait, all I said was, "thank you," and I started my car and left. Immediately, I knew that I could have practiced some of that "make people not forget you power" and who knows? -- maybe I would have turned a bad night on the job into a good one! Really all it would have taken was a smile, assuring them that it was no problem at all, then saying thank you. And I find that sometimes a smile is the biggest key, since they are after all contagious. :)

Well, today was also the second day that one of my sweet cousins stopped by and gave me something at work... This time it was chocolate (yum!) and the thoughtfulness of it just melted my heart that someone would just think of me when they are out and about? :) yeah, just terribly sweet!
That's not an odd thing to be thankful about either, but it does trigger a different level of thankfulness in me... It makes me thankful for humanity, and the little ways our hearts feel and perceive love. It's just a beautiful thing -- something I can't comprehend at times.

Another thing I'm so thankful for, and something I can't understand, is the plan God has for my life. There are places I want to go, things I want to accomplish, and a woman of good character that I want to become... And sometimes the thought of it wants to weigh I me because those three things right there reminds me that a lot of my life is up in the air right now. I feel like I'm barely getting to the point where I can start accomplishing some of it in the near future and it might be scary to think that one moments decision can change it all. But... 99% of the time I am just excited for the future and thankful that God really has a good plan for my life. And a quote my Sunday school teacher gave us:

"God gives his best to those who leave the choice with Him."

One last thing... ;) I'm thankful for animals: monkeys, elephants, puppies, big wild cats, and then your good old regular kitty-cat. They just make my heart bigger! :) Most of that is in reference so some of Devin Graham's latest videos in Nepal. I mean seriously... how cute is this monkey at 1:12 of this video???

Well, it's Thanksgiving and I didn't even realize how spot-on my thoughts were to the season...
Anyone else have any to share?

09 November 2014

To Everything There is a Season

So, I admit. I haven't been as content with the place in life that I am in like I should be.
It's all about school... college. I really don't like it at all.
It's not like it takes that much time, but I just can't focus on it. Which, in turn, makes for a lot of procrastination and wasted time.

Tonight has led me through a series of thoughts on this matter.

1) My mom advised me to try to have a better attitude about doing my homework. Which I scoffed at, but I know that it will solve a lot of things if I do...
2) I was looking through my Flickr account (that I haven't posted to since the fourth of July) :/

I found this old gem.

Tent Camping

Yeah, that was like the best little camping trip. Just me and my cousin, but it was awesome because I took photos the whole time.

3) I was going to post this picture here on my blog and whine and complain about how I can't do what I really love to do because of school. But then I stopped and realized that maybe this season is a blessing after all. Because it is showing me what I really love to do. Where I should be. And what my focus should be on. 

Honestly, that's something a lot of people don't figure out until their mid 20's.
I know that I certainly have had my struggles with photography. Wondering if I really love it, or if it's just a little hype-thing that I'm going through that will pass. But....

Sometimes they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder.

Well, I think it's true. 


Yep, life and it's seasons... sometimes all I can do is shake my head and smile.
Most of my smiling is at my humanity and small understanding, though.

06 November 2014

All I Can Do is Smile

I've never had someone do something for me and feel so much like God had a hand in it.
Today, we had a rough time closing up the bank, but we finally got out of there nearly an hour late. I had a cloud of dread hanging over my head because something was wrong that I had done that day and I didn't catch it until time to close. So all I could do is just hope that tomorrow, when management looks everything over, the issue will turn up and everything will be okay. But I know good and well that that might not. 
When I first realized there was a problem, naturally my thoughts turned straight to God and I started asking of Him that He would fix it and make everything right. But just as this song says, so many times we ask God to be with us in our times of distress, yet we haven't been close to him in all the other times. As I was crying out to God, I thought of this whole week and how I really haven't spent much time with the Lord because I've let homework and the cares of life take away from that special time with Him. So I was kind of like, "Well, I really don't feel like I have much room to ask for him to make everything to be just okay", though I know God can still do it if we truly have a repentant heart and if it is part of the lesson He wants to teach us. 
Needless to say, I was leaving work feeling gloomy, and it was really dark and cold outside to add to it. As I got to my car, I saw something was on the windshield of my car and I hollered back to my co-worker that someone had left me something. It was some flowers and candy from my cousin, and so I was like "How did she know I was having a rough night?!?" My co-worker and I just laughed at the irony of it and then parted ways. Of course, I knew that she had no way of knowing, but God did!
On my way home, I was thinking about it, and God just let me know that if He could orchestrate so that someone would think of me and send me a special gift on the same day that something went wrong, that he already knew all about the situation and it would be okay. And I can't even fathom what it means for God to know ALL about it -- that's a lot of "knowing"! ;) But it give me a calm assurance about the whole thing, that it would all be okay no matter how it turned out.
Then, as I pulled into the garage, and looked over to pick up the flowers and carry them in, I was just overwhelmed with the love of God. That He would really love me so much to give me flowers. Oh, it was such a wonderful thought! I know some people might argue though that it wasn't God -- it was just my cousin being nice to me. No, God works through the hands of his children. I'm also not trying to discount the kindness of my cousin, either. But it was just so strongly impressed on me that it was God who did it, he really cares and wants to have a relationship with me just as if He were my best friend here on this earth. 
Maybe I'll just leave it at that, because my mind can't even really take it all in right now. I'm overwhelmed with it all, because it is also a direct answer to the desire I've had in my heart to really know God like a friend, a really close friend.  :)


04 November 2014


There is nothing like the pure joy of a child.


11 October 2014

It's So Tiny

Yesterday I had one of the best days at work.
We had a lot of good laughs. And I think we were all just finally getting used to each other and finding our place. (We've had quite the turnover rate and we have a lot of new people working at the bank.) Anyway... wonderful day!
And then, when I was doing homework on my lunch break, I got a wonderful email that said my GoPro was delivered. :)
So I rushed home after work and tore into the box waiting for me. 

I'm already really loving the all-inclusive wide angle! 
It's kinda interesting that it actually gets your hands in the shot if you are holding the GoPro straight on the camera.

My biggest impression though is how tiny the thing really is. Well, that and along with the overwhelming amount of parts/accessories it comes with. I feel like I have 50 little pieces floating around now... all stuff to mount it somewhere to get the slightest little different angle.

 I really like the touch screen, too. I was kinda worried about it since it is such a small little screen that it would be hard to use... quite the opposite!


10 October 2014

All This Week

All this week I have felt like blogging... with no pictures to blog. But really, a lot of times I want to blog more about my life than necessarily photography. I find that even though I'm surrounded with a  multiplicity of social media outlets, none of them free up my mind and let me express myself like this lovely little blog does. :)

So you've probably noticed a new blog header... annddd... I would say "don't get used to it" because it really was just something I did in a few clicks and I'm not really loving it at all. I just was getting really annoyed every time I looked at the last eye-sore picture I had up there so I wanted to swap it up. Anyway, as I was saying, don't get used to it because it's not really what I plan to leave on the blog. However, considering my current schedule it will probably be up there for a few months. Ha! Who knows.

One thing I want to talk about is the aching need I have to be back in the photography world. Like the good ole days (insert auto trader jingle here) when I took a photo every day or at least blogged every day. I'm not saying that working full time and blogging every day is what I need to do. I'm just saying I'm missing that. So part of me is wishing that when I finally get my iPhone and maybe a GoPro that it will allow me to do that again because it won't be so time consuming as shooting on a DSLR. I mean, a DSLR does take a little more time. Just the facts of it, sadly.
Eh, well I've just been going through some really random photos and it's made me kind of miss what I used to be able to do.

Ironically, almost all of these photos tie a little bit to some things that have just been on my mind lately.

the other night I stepped outside (after just barely being home from work) 
it was dark, a little chilly, and there was the smell of a nice bonfire in the air
for a split second, I imagined that I was a different person
someone with no obligations beyond work
one who spent a little time in the slow lane, hanging out around a bonfire
eh, but first, I would have to have a group of friends to do it with
for some reason, we haven't done that much
something I wish for
oh well

it's even raining right now.
not much to say here, except I love rain and thunder
and I love the calm it brings to me

along the trail
we all know I love being on the trail
today I was on a trail, supposed to be finding a nice place to read and pray on my lunch break
it ended up I found a park bench that wasn't occupied
I sat down and tried to read... my eyes were too tired
so I laid down on the bench and looked up at the trees towering above me and tried to pray 
then I fell dead asleep and became an official hobo on a park bench for 15 minutes
kind of a vulnerable thing to do, haha, but I lived to tell the story

this was the stack of papers I had to read in training for my job
I still can't get over how God has lead me with this job and really given me the desire of my heart
I wanted to go full time, but I didn't know when it would be best
and I had some mixed feelings about it because I am still taking five classes online
but, God knew and he brought along a full time position for me
it's been really stressful at times with trying to juggle it all
one moment I can get so overwhelmed with it and just really want to scream and quit it all
but the next moment, God opens my eyes and shows me a path to make it through it every time
and it never fails to be okay at the end of each week when all my homework is submitted
I'm really not sure what I will do next semester
I know that it would be quite wise to pray about it some more 
because it is so easy for me to be blown around and just make a decision in one moment
when that decision will last me 16 looonnnggg weeks
right or wrong


30 September 2014

Wade and Hannah

Wedding photo deadline done! Whew! Mailed out today!
They really didn't take as long as I thought they would. I know the Lord really helped me with them, though, because I've never edited 480 photos in 2 days before...
Seriously, I'm kind of ashamed to say it, but I've known ever since day one, that I would like to get them done within a month's time. And this time I ended up spending 28 days putting it off and 2 days editing. I will give myself some credibility/slack, though, because it really does take a lot of focus to get this done. A lot more focus than 98% of my peers have :P

Crazy thing was... during those two days I also took a good long bike ride and recorded a song. So I really did good.

Yep, this is me blabbing about my life on Facebook.

The song isn't perfect... and honestly I was really wanting to work on it more and add some piano parts to it with GarageBand, but I won't have the time to work on that until my christmas break from college. Wait!? College break? Really? Oh my word! You don't know how excited I will be for that day! 

To add to the busyness... I am now working full time at the bank. Actually, my first full time day is tomorrow. I'm kinda wondering how my grades are going to fare with everything going on in my life right now. Haha! I'll make it! *she says while closing her eyes and burying her head in the sand*

Now that I've filled everyone in on my life... maybe I will move on to the photos. Right!

That's that!
Have a great week! :)